The Open Pit is not a tourist destination. This place is not built for this purpose. There are still many vetrical caves in this hill that may cause a serious danger for ordinary visitors. The road to open pit is also not very well maintained. If you travel by ordinary car, you must park the car far away down the hill and take a walk to the peak of the Gunong Kik Karak, except of you use 4x4 car. This place can be reached by one hour drive from Tanjungpandan to the East, the same way to Manggar.
If you are a photographer either amateur or pro, this place could be a heaven. Some of you may already having an experience doing photography hunting in Kawah Putih, the real crater of Patuha mountain in West Java. This place is similar, but it has its own unique. Your photography hunting target is the color and pattern of rocks, traditional tin mining workers for human object and the crater itself. The photos in this website taken just in the middle of the day with no friendly lighting at all. You should spend your sunset or sunrise hunting in this place. We wish you can produce a wonderful pictures.
Open Pit is not a beach. This is a name of an area was used by Australian tin mining company BHP Billiton (1971-1985) and later on handed over to German company Preussag GmbH of Hannover as their main operation field for tin mining activity until late 1989. This place is unique because it was actually a hill named Gunong Kik Karak.
Now, there has no longer tin mining activity in this place, those 2 international companies has no longer operating in Belitung. This place is just an abandon crater and not that many people visiting this place as tourist. The only activity left is the local people who doing a traditional tin mining activity, trying to find the small remaining tin in the sands inside the caves, as shown in the above pictures. They are using very traditional tools like a wok to separate sands from tin. They collect sands from down inside the caves. This is a very risky business since they do not have sufficient safety, and those caves has been left by the tin companies for more than 20 years. But, since this is the only skill and opportunity that they have, they just doing it.
Since this hill has huge potential of tin reserve inside its underground rocks, then those tin company create a man makes crater just on top of the Gunong Kik Karak peak. The crater is huge just likes a normal volcano, but it is a man made. Gunong Kik Karak is placed in the center of sub-district Kelapa Kampit in Belitung Timur regency.
Why those tin mining company creates such project ? This was the way for them to transport the tin rocks from down inside the hill and loaded into the trucks. The big trucks then travel down circleling the edge of crater and bring the rocks up to the hill and then transport to the tin factory. The modern tin mining activity in Belitung started after establishment of a Dutch company Billiton in Nederland at 29 September 1860 that having rights to exploit tin rich island of Bangka and Belitung from Dutch Colonial Government in Indonesia as Dutch colony at that time.
Surrounding the crater, there are several man made cave. This cave is the main place for underground tin mining activity. So the rocks that contain high reserve of tin was actually taken from the cave, and the crater is the way for the trucks to approach main gates of cave surronding the crater.
The cave was made by dynamit explosion. The geologist explore the structure of rocks and identify in which node the cave will be made. The workers drill the rocks and place the dynamit. After it explodes, then the rocks transported from inside the cave and bring to the gate of caves in the Open Pit area. This is how the tin mining activity was conducted in Belitung. This place was a center of Western cummunity in Belitung, since there were many experts from several countries worked in this place at that time.